(AP) — U.S. job growth slowed in August as employers added 156,000 jobs, but even that decreased pace suggests that businesses remain confident in an economy now in its ninth year of recovery from the Great Recession.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent. Job gains in June and July were revised downward by 41,000 jobs. The economy has averaged monthly job gains of 176,000 so far this year.
Average hourly pay has just increased 2.5 percent over the 12 months ending in August. Pay raises typically average 3.5 percent to 4 percent when the unemployment rate is this low.
The job market has remained healthy even though the economy has grown at a subpar annual pace of 2.1 percent during the first six months of 2017.